Candyman Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

“Candyman” / Candyman

Genre horror
Directed by Nia DaCosta
Cast: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Anthony McCoy), Teyonna Parris (Brianna Cartwright), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Troy Cartwright), Colman Domingo (William), Kyle Kaminsky (Grady), Tony Todd (Candyman) and others.
Universal Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, BRON Studios
Release year 2021
Site IMDb

The first “Candyman” was released in 1992, when stories about serial maniacs were at the peak of popularity. This film was somewhat different from other horror films with serial killers who enthusiastically killed everyone who got in their way. The picture used mysticism, drawing attention to racial hatred, which eventually degenerates into something terrible. At that time, the idea of ​​​​the tape was fresh and bold in its own way, while it did not go too far with the public message (which can often be found in modern cinema). In addition, the film was complemented by an atmospheric soundtrack, which gave the story a particularly sinister note.

The main character of the old movie, Helen, was looking for unusual material for her dissertation. The woman studied oral folklore, which eventually transformed into nightly horror stories that reflected the fears of an urbanized society. Once Helen heard about Candyman, a dark-skinned artist who fell in love with the daughter of a white landowner, for which he was severely punished by cutting off his hand and smearing his body with honey, and then left to die from bee stings. Many years later, a legend appeared that Candyman could be called upon by repeating his name several times while looking in the mirror. Helen tried to prove that no Candyman really exists, but she witnessed the opposite.


The darkest events of the horror film took place in a disadvantaged quarter of Chicago called Cabrini Green. The place where African-American families were settled, over time, dilapidated and became almost uninhabitable. It was there that Helen met Candyman, which was the beginning of the tragic events.

Actually, it is desirable to know about these details before watching the new “Candyman”, which was not a remake, but a full-fledged sequel to the 1992 tape (it is interesting that after the first film in 1995 and 1999 the continuation of the story was released, but both films were unsuccessful, so now they do not count).

The script for the sequel was written by Jordan Peele, known for his out-of-the-box horror films that turn into social commentary as the story unfolds (Get Out and Us). And the production of the new film was handled by Nia DaCosta, an aspiring director who joined the ranks of the creators of Marvel projects (she was entrusted with the adaptation of the continuation of Captain Marvel with Brie Larson in the title role).


Now you can go directly to the plot of Candyman 2021. The action of the horror film takes place in Cabrini Green today, when the area has changed significantly – the old buildings, painted with graffiti, were completely demolished, and elite residential complexes were built in their place. The artist Anthony lives here and his girlfriend, who is engaged in exhibitions in art galleries. The couple is surrounded by art and creative people, but Anthony himself has not created a single painting for several years. Wandering in search of new ideas, the hero is interested in the history of his area, which is often told along with the legend of Candyman. Anthony is inspired by urban legends and begins to create, with which he not only awakens a killer with a hook instead of a hand, but also gradually destroys his life.

The new horror movie Candyman pokes fun at the typical art community and wreaks havoc right in the midst of modern art (in a way reminiscent of Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw). But most of all, the picture seeks to delve into the cause of evil, arguing that the sins of the past will certainly be reflected in the formation of the future. In this, Jordan Peele, who always reminds viewers of the historical trauma of African Americans, also finds a place for pressing problems – the actions of police officers who commit murders while detaining unarmed citizens.


There are several references to the 1992 film in the film, for example, Candyman is played by the same actor – Tony Todd (however, here the artist’s character gets a more extended story with a large-scale interpretation). As for flashbacks, they are not in the picture, instead, the creators offer a more original retelling in the form of shadow puppets that convey the key moments of urban legends.

As a horror movie, Candyman isn’t that impressive, although some scenes are really memorable (such as the murder sequences that can only be seen in the reflection of a tiny mirror that fell to the floor). And the most tangibly atmospheric moment of the tape is the opening shots, in which the camera moves along the new buildings, capturing the sky and the tops of the buildings, which resembles the doomed gaze of a victim being dragged along the ground. Otherwise, the picture slowly reveals the physical transformations of the protagonist associated with mysticism and a bee sting – looking at them is not scary, but rather unpleasant.

So 1992’s Candyman remains a darker, more frightening horror film, while the 2021 sequel becomes an art-poking slasher that raves about social injustice (as you’d expect from a screenplay written by Jordan Peele).

Pros: shadow puppets instead of flashbacks; references to the first film; irony over the art community Cons: not impressive as a horror film; not scary, but rather repulsive moments Conclusion:

before going to the cinema, you can familiarize yourself with the 1992 Candyman to understand the whole idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe sequel. To be honest, the old movie seems to be a more successful horror with important overtones.

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